Scampston Hall and the Piet Oudolf Walled Garden
If you have read my blog posts of late you'd be forgiven for thinking that all I do is watch gardening programmes and swan around the country visiting pretty places!
I have been catching up on my fix of garden related television lately, this time Christine Walkden on BBC 1's Glorious Gardens from Above, which I recorded on sky plus last year and still hadn't got around to watching until this evening. I was delighted to see that she was in Yorkshire visiting the gorgeous Scampston Hall and it's famous gardens.
I had the opportunity to visit Scampston last year when an e-bay purchase of some vintage milk churns lead me deep into Yorkshire to collect the said items. I am aware that travelling from Bath to Yorkshire just for some vintage milk churns does sound a little crazy, however from time to time I do these things as it encourages me to explore places I have never been before and places that I wouldn't necessarily have a reason to go to otherwise. It's good for my soul to explore and experience new places, to escape the hum drum of the things I see every day and see the country I live in with fresh eyes. It strikes me at times how funny it is that I have made the effort and paid a lot of money to visit various places around the world such as Kenya and Egypt and yet have explored so little of my own country, a country which has such diversity not only in it's natural habitats, history and coastlines but also in it's people, it's architecture and indeed its food and local dialects.
So as I was travelling to Yorkshire I felt I should take the opportunity to visit somewhere interesting while I was there, my investigation into what was near to the location of the the milk churns lead me to Scampston and I am so glad it did!
I am not sure that you could see anywhere else in the country or perhaps even the world the work of two such hugely influential garden designers who lived 250 ish years apart in one location, both so very different in form and yet equally as beautiful!
Scampston boasts two fine examples of garden designs, firstly the historical 'English Landscape' style so popular in the late 1700's and immortalised by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, sitting side by side with a garden designed by someone I regard as one of the most talented garden designers of our time, a pioneer in the 'New Perennial' or 'New Wave Planting' movement which has gained a huge amount of popularity over the last few years, Piet Oudolf. His designs are simply stunning, there are no other words to describe them, I have huge amounts of admiration for his work, I love the way he uses plants and the movement and grace that he creates within his designs. To have the opportunity to visit a garden he has designed as well as one designed by such an important figure in British garden history, someone who was the subject of lectures during my time studying horticulture at college was simply one of the best experiences I could ever wish for!
I won't go into the details and merits of each style of design now, perhaps that might be for a future blog post?! However I was so keen after watching to look back over my photographs and indulge myself once again in the beauty and magic of Scampston. And do you know what delighted me the most about watching this evening...
My daughter, she is 5 and squealed with delight when she saw it on the screen, she remembered climbing to the top of 'The Mount' and looking down over the garden from above as well as hiding in the grasses. It fills my heart with so much joy that she is truly experiencing the beauty of places like Scampston and that it has made a mark on her heart in such a way, the experience of the place was obviously a really positive one for her and the fact that she remembered it means we are creating happy memories together. I love the fact that she is developing a passion for gardens even at such a young age, it is just wonderful. I very much hope it continues for the rest of her life and brings her as much pleasure and happiness, and the sense of connection with nature as it brings me.
Here for your enjoyment are some of the photos I took on my visit, I was so lucky to have such glorious weather, my photography skills are still work in progress however I hope you can gain a sense from the pictures of how beautifully the light dances through the leaves and grasses, and the softness and gentle movement the Piet has created within the planting schemes even though contained within quite a formal backbone of definite 'garden rooms'. Just stunning! And well worth a visit.